Side-chaining a 3rd party plug-in

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

Side-chaining 3rd party plug-ins can be easily achieved in Live by using Live's powerful Track routing possibilities.

What do we need as preparation?

  • A Track with a side-chaining capable VST or Audio Unit plug-in (in this tutorial we assume this plug-in is loaded into Track "1 Audio"). 
  • A second Track with the source for the side-chain signal. When side-chaining a compressor this could for example be a kick drum (here "2 Audio").
  • An additional Audio Track which is used to route the audio signal (in this example "3 Audio")
  • In case the Track's In/Out section is hidden press [cmd][alt][I] on Mac or [ctrl][alt][I] on PC.

How to route the side-chain signal from the side-chain source Track to the plug-in in the other Track?

  • In the Input Type chooser of the routing helper Track (here "3 Audio") select the side-chain source Track (here "2 Audio"). The Input Type chooser is the upper "Audio From" chooser.
  • In the Output Type chooser of the same Track (here "3 Audio"), select the Track with the plug-in which should receive the side-chain (in this example "1 Audio"). The Output Type chooser is the upper "Audio To" chooser.
  • In the Output Channel chooser of this Track (here "3 Audio"), select the plug-in. The Output Channel chooser is the lower "Audio From" chooser.


audio routing to side-chain a 3rd party plug-in (side-chain signal audible)

Additional Information

In the example above it's assumed that the side-chain signal itself should also be audible. Though, in certain cases the side-chain signal is only used to affect the plug-in, but it shouldn't be heard itself.

This routing can be achieved in Live with only two Tracks. The routing helper Track from the example above is not needed in this case. The side-chain source signal can be sent directly from the according track to the plug-in by utilizing the Output Type chooser and the Output Channel chooser.


audio routing to side-chain a 3rd party plug-in (side-chain signal not audible)